I lived at Bank Farm, Castle Caereinion for the first 25 years of my life. Bank Farm remains the 'base unit' of T E Davies and Son, the farming business established by my father, and which has long kept the wolf away from our door. The neighbouring farm was Pen-y-Coppy, where Mr and Mrs Herbie Williams lived. Herbie died 22 years ago. Yesterday, I was a bearer at the funeral of his widow, Mrs Winnie Williams. She was 90 years old, and leaves three children, Carol whom I met for the first time in 40 years yesterday, Brian who still lives at Pen-y-Coppy, and Maureen. Plus lots of grandchildren.
The Rev. Bill Rowell, when speaking on behalf of the family, describing the wonderful treatment Mrs Williams (which is how I still referred to her) received at the Rallt Nursing Home in Welshpool. She had been suffering from Alzheimer's Disease and had been in the Rallt for a year or so. We often read negative stories about the service provided in care homes. As a nation, we don't take care of the elderly anything like seriously enough. It was great to hear of an example of really good care.
Its now more than 24 hours later, and my hearing is only now returning to normal. As a bearer, I was sitting in the front row. Immediately behind me was Mr Geraint Peate, the funeral director, who is blessed with the lungs of a boomer monkey. The funeral was in Castle Caereinion Church, and I reckon I'd have heard him in Berriew. Geraint is a fabulous and quite famous singer, with a huge voice. I've listened to him many times before - but always as a member of the audience when he's performing. Never heard him at two feet behind me before. I should have worn the ear defenders I use when chain sawing. But there's one big plus. I have a loud 'foghorn' singing voice, but enjoy singing, especially hymns. Yesterday it was 'The Lord's my Shepherd', 'What a friend we have in Jesus', and 'Abide with me'. I was able to sing away to my heart's content, and there was no chance of anyone hearing me. Geraint is a congregation all on his own. After lowering the coffin into the grave, I stood in front of my father's grave (33 years ago) for the committal.